“Sooooooo, how was it?” I asked my roommate when she got home from a blind date a co-worker had arranged. “I had a great time,” she explained, while giving me a quick run-down on her first impression of him and the highlights of their conversation over dinner and then coffee. “He was attentive and asked great questions, and at the end he walked me back to my car. I felt safe with him.”
That’s not the first time I’ve heard one of my friends noticing or calling out feeling safe with a guy. And I’ve noticed, too, whether it’s been the way a guy treated me on a date or in a group interacting as friends. Here are a few examples:
1) During a ski trip with friends, I ended up on a difficult run with my friend Tim, along with a few of his friends, all of whom were much better skiers than me. Rather than showing off his skills by keeping up with his friends, Tim hung back with me and stopped every once in a while to make sure I was doing OK. And even once we got back to easier terrain, he would glance back every so often to check that I was keeping up and wasn’t getting too tired. It was nice to know my friend had my back and was concerned for my safety on the slopes.
2) I was on a blind date with a guy my friend had introduced me to via email, so it was the first time we had met in person. When our food arrived, my pasta had mushrooms, even though I had asked for the dish without them. He flagged down the waiter and nicely explained the situation, which was quickly corrected. Throughout the dinner, he made sure I was comfortable and was enjoying my meal. That communicated a concern for me that I appreciated because it made me feel valued and respected. And don’t worry — he left a nice tip!
3) My friend Mike would always volunteer to drive when a group of us were meeting up to do something, such as a hike or deciding to go out for ice cream after leaving the movie theater. It was his way of serving the group by offering to drive instead of waiting for someone else to step up and volunteer.
4) I was at a game night that my friend Chris organized, and when it was time to leave, his roommate walked the girls out to their cars. He wasn’t flirtatious about it, but rather, he was concerned about our having to walk down the street in the dark to get to our cars. It was a small gesture that took him 60 seconds to do, but it communicated a brotherly concern.
No matter the situation, women respond to feeling safe. Sometimes it’s a physical feeling based on the environment. Sometimes it’s as simple as noticing a guy who shows genuine kindness to others or whose actions reveal a willingness to serve. Sure, it’s an attractive quality in a guy that a woman notices when she’s interested in him. But it also communicates respect in general and in the way men and women relate to each other as brothers and sisters.